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Miss Naomi Atkinson

Career Path: Founder, Whosit & Whatsit & Designer & Naomi Atkinson Design
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Being a creative type in the late 90's but not knowing where I wanted my career to take me I decided to study Interactive Media Design to further my skills, understanding and knowledge of the opportunities available to me. Completing 3 creative A-Levels, and a degree led to me working for web design, advertising, and branding agencies respectively, followed by working for myself and running two businesses.

What are you doing now?

I've recently founded Whosit & Whatsit, a shop on Newcastle's prestigious quayside, celebrating the who behind the what ? selling products from independent designers across the world.  The premise is to bring independent design back to our high streets, and give designers an affordable and impressive way to sell their work to the general public.  I've also ran my own small studio, Naomi Atkinson Design since the summer of 2010  working with an array of clients, and speaking at many web and design events worldwide.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals / give your career an edge?

The course introduced me to my first boss via a talk that was put on, toward the end of year three. The job openings that agency had (like many) would only accept applicants with a BA Hons degree, so university directly enabled me to kickstart my career.

What was the best thing about your course?

The variety of project work, across a number of mediums. The respect and encouragement for lecturers was also fantastic.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

Quite honestly, the others on my course inspired me the most. Seeing how other creative people think, work to, and answer briefs was a great inspiration.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now/throughout your career?

I use many of the tools today that I was introduced to at University (Photoshop and the like), but learning how to answer a brief was likely the best knowledge that I took, and continue to put into practice 11 years on.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The respect and creative freedom given to me as a student.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Do it! Absorb as much as you can, enjoy it, and remember to continue your own studies/research/contact-making alongside - it will make your graduation into full time work all that much easier.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Enabled my career.

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